Based off of a headcanon I thought of the other day. Also, Dick is around ten in this
Bruce had just settled down to read a book in the library when he hears a loud crash come from the hallway, a noise that's becoming all too familiar.
"Dick!" Bruce shouts, snapping the book shut as he stands from his chair to storm toward the source of the noise.
"I'm okay!" Dick is quick to call back, but Bruce has a hard time believing him. The crash was loud, and he's pretty sure it was followed by a verbal indicator of pain. That, and the fact that when it comes to crash-like noises, Dick's track record hasn't exactly been great lately. Bruce might not know the details of what led to this particular crash, but he's certain that it was the aftermath of another one of Dick's so-called practice stunts.
Dick's been on spring break this past week, and it's left him with a lot of free time and a lot of pent up energy. So far, the boy has backflipped off of the chandelier (Bruce still isn't entirely sure how he got up there; there was no sign that his Robin equipment had been used), intentionally fallen from the same chandelier the following morning, attempted to walk across the freshly polished banister in socks, and leapt from his speeding bicycle to roll across the lawn. All of these incidents have tested Bruce's heart's ability to remain inside of his chest, but for Dick, they just seemed to be an adrenaline rush that left him smiling as he excitedly explained to Bruce just how great the moves would look on his resume once they were perfected.
This game that Dick's been playing is getting exhausting, but no matter what Bruce says or threatens, Dick won't listen. Why can't the kid just listen?
When Bruce reaches Dick, he's—just as anticipated—sitting on the floor in a heap by the stairs, presumably right where he landed after jumping off of something that shouldn't be jumped off of.
"Dick," Bruce keeps his voice firm and even and low. It's a warning, a demand for an explanation. He taps his foot twice.
"Heh, hi Bruce," is Dick's light, slightly distorted reply. He doesn't turn around to face Bruce, which he's sure is a telling sign that something isn't as "okay" as Dick had previously assured.
Bruce steps in front of Dick, and when he does, he sees that Dick has his hands over his nose, blood dripping down between his fingers.
"What's happened," Alfred asks, racing into the stairwell and absently wiping still-wet hands on a kitchen towel.
"Well?" Bruce prompts.
"Glad you asked. You see, I was heading to the kitchen to get a snack, but when I saw the stairs, I realized it would be way faster and way more fun to jump down them all at once instead. So I ran for it and just jumped. It felt so cool, you've gotta try it sometime, Bruce!" Dick is smiling again, so Bruce tightens his glare until Dick's smile vanishes. He averts his eyes as he finishes, "Caught my foot on one of the bottom steps, though. Kind of face planted a little on the landing."
Bruce lets out a tired sigh, pinches the bridge of his nose. "What did I tell you?"
"That if I keep doing awesome jumps, I'll break something," Dick says in a monotone.
"Not how I phrased it." He kneels down next to Dick and brings a hand up to inspect Dick's bleeding nose.
Dick lowers his hands, asks, "Do you think it's broken?"
It's crooked and looks like it's already starting to swell; definitely broken.
"Looks like it, chum." Bruce touches the side, causing Dick to flinch a little. He sighs again, this time more frustrated than anything else. "We have a trampoline, gymnastics equipment, a trapeze rig—so many things that you can use to safely release some of that energy, yet you choose a staircase. What were you thinking?"
"That that jump would've looked amazing on camera and the director probably would've given me a raise?"
Bruce closes his eyes, counts to ten. "Dick."
"You will be. Come on, we need to go get that nose looked at."
"Shall I grab some supplies from the cave?"
"Just the car, actually," Bruce says, pulling Dick to his feet. "And a towel."
"Bru-uce," Dick whines, surely already catching on to Bruce's plan. "Why can't Alfred just fix it?"
"Dick Grayson was stupid enough to try to leap the staircase in a single bound, so Dick Grayson gets to go sit in an emergency room for a couple of hours and get his nose set."
"Bruuuce," Dick whines again, leaning his forehead against Bruce's side and pulling at his arm.
"I'd recommend grabbing a notebook, that way you can list all of the reasons why your stunt was unnecessarily dangerous and why you'll never do anything like it again."
Then Bruce shakes him off and heads to the car, ignoring the whined protests as he goes.
"Sounds like we have a little daredevil," the nurse says, smiling a little once Dick finishes telling his story in exuberant detail.
"More of a stunt double, actually," Dick corrects proudly. "In training."
"Ah, I see. Well, Dick, I hope that works out for you and we don't get any more broken bones," the nurse says, and Dick laughs a little as he nods dutifully. "Keep the ice on it to help with the swelling. The doctor should be in to set it shortly."
"Thank you," Bruce says.
She leaves, closing the curtain behind her. When they hear her greeting the next patient, Dick gives Bruce this look and says, "See, she supports my dreams."
Bruce rubs the crease in his forehead. He has no idea how to deal with this kid sometimes. "I meant to ask for some aspirin, I'll be right back. Dick, just . . . just stay still."
Dick stops kicking his feet, tilts his head. "I thought kids weren't supposed to have aspirin?"
"It's not for you."
On the way home from the ER—with Dick's nose now numbed, set, packed, splinted, and no longer bleeding—Bruce finds it is much easier to lecture him. No Robin until his nose heals, not that he's supposed to do any vigorous activity until then anyway. Instead, he can use that time to wash the Batmobile and clean the rest of the cave. Dick pouts and complains, but that's fine by Bruce. It's a punishment, he's not supposed to like it.
But when Dick doesn't respond after Alfred tells him he can have a popsicle for being such a good patient, Bruce feels a little guilty. Not too guilty because what Dick did—has been doing—was completely reckless, but from Dick's perspective, it probably feels like Bruce won't let him have any fun. He knows that the lecture and punishment are necessary, but Bruce doesn't think he's overly fond of that aspect of parenting. He knows all parents have to do it at some point, but most parents are dealing with kids who watch too much TV or won't eat their vegetables. Not Bruce's kid, though. Nope, that would've been too easy. Instead, he picked the one who willingly throws himself down staircases.
(And there's that anger again, throbbing loudly in his temple.)
He looks over at Dick through the mirror. He's not really pouting anymore, he's moved on to tapped his heels against the seat and humming to the music as he looks out the window. Even with the bruises and splint, he looks adorable. And so, so young. He's Bruce's whole world, and damn it, no matter how frustrated the kid makes him at times, he loves him more than anything. He doesn't want to be responsible for crushing his dreams, but is it really asking too much for Dick to pick a different one?
Boom, I did it, a fluff piece! My spring break is pretty much over now so I'm not sure when you'll see anything new from me, but I've really enjoyed all the writing I've gotten to do this past week and I hope you've enjoyed reading it :)